16 Oct 2022

Adelaide CBD recovers faster than Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney

Adelaide’s tourism recovery has outperformed other key Australian cities, driven by an influx of visitors after dark and on weekends – according to Australia’s peak industry group for the tourism, transport and aviation sectors.

Total visitation to the Adelaide CBD is 86 per cent of pre pandemic levels, compared to 74 per cent for Brisbane, 71 per cent for Melbourne and just 67 per cent for Sydney.

The report, released today from the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) – was compiled by DSpark and analyses mobility data to survey the movements of 8 million Australians, or nearly one third of the adult population in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth CBDs.

In Adelaide, the TTF report found:

  • The total number of people visiting or working in Adelaide’s CBD is 86 per cent of pre-COVID levels – increasing from 70 per cent of pre-COVID levels in January 2022.
  • It makes visitation to Adelaide’s CBD when compared to pre pandemic higher than all other key Australian cities (Sydney 67%, Melbourne 71%, Brisbane 74%, Perth 85%).
  • Weekend visitors have returned to 100 per cent of pre-COVID levels on average. On weeknights after 10pm, there are more visitors to Adelaide’s CBD than before the pandemic, peaking at 112 per cent of pre-COVID levels after midnight.
  • Year-to-date, there are approximately 25,000 people in Adelaide’s CBD per hour on the weekend on average, and approximately 35,000 people per hour on average each weekday.

Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said it is fantastic news to see Adelaide’s CBD recovery is not only well and truly on track – it is leading the nation.

"We know the CBD was disproportionately impacted during the pandemic, hit hard by the downturn in interstate, international and corporate travel – so this result, on the back of an all-time record occupancy for Adelaide hotels just last month, is a huge win," she said.

"It is wonderful to see that events, arts and culture are driving this strong momentum – which will only continue to surge in South Australia, when we look at what’s on in the weeks and months ahead."

TTF CEO, Margy Osmond said the arts, cultural and events sectors are helping lure people back.

"Live entertainment and major events are the dominant force driving people back into the city at nights and on weekends, when we’re seeing the biggest recovery since the pandemic," she said.

"More people are keen to soak up Adelaide’s culture, events and flavours, as the weather warms up and lockdowns fade into memory. This data shows how crucial our arts and events industries have been in recent months and they’ll continue to help our cities bounce back.

"While Adelaide’s CBD is faring better than other cities, we still need to find ways to boost weekday crowds to help those shops, cafes and other businesses still feeling the effects of the pandemic."